EWELL VILLAGE

Contact Brian Angus 13 Chessington Road, Ewell or gbriangus@yahoo.co.uk

GENERAL


The design will impose additional loadings onto the existing drainage infrastructure which may lead to local flooding both in rainwater and foul / sewerage water.


Rainwater

The existing gardens are a natural soak away for rain water and no rear garden rain water ever reaches the road. The present buildings would be draining the roof rain water into their garden soak aways and main sewer.


The proposed design would reduce the soak away garden area by more than 50% and would increase the peak water flow into the existing gullies and sewer. The proposed paved area at the back, which is higher than the road, would naturally drain this excess rain water into it.


 The area in front of the Ridings and 7A has, in the past, been subject to severe flooding in heavy rain. This was caused, originally, by building materials having found their way into the gullies after the construction work to build the Ridings Estate. Nearly 3 decades ago, in 1989. They have only recently been partially cleared – AFTER DECADES OF COMPLAINING! The gully near the post box still has severe problem and drains very slowly. If the 9 -11 sites were to be redeveloped, even partially, the chances of the gullies getting blocked again will be high, with the ensuing flooding problems returning for many years.  


Foul  / sewage water

With the proposed new buildings, occupation levels of potentially 63 person x 110 litres per day = 6.9 cu m of water into the sewer. Compared with the present potentially 16 person (8 per house) x 110 litre per day =1.8cu m. of water. This represents an increase of 5.1cu m of water a day; nearly 300%. We have, on occasions, had foul water blockage and flooding outside the Ridings, where it crept onto the walk by area in front of the gates affecting pedestrians.


Waste collection

Though the back drive is designed so that waste collection lorry can enter the estate and turn around to exit back onto the main road, the small area set aside for bins is totally inadequate. The likelihood of the waste lorries entering is remote. Even proposed residents would dislike it, with diesel engine exhaust pollution, the ensuing noise from the engine and reversing beeper. The Ridings opposite has the capacity for that but all the bins get brought out the evening before and the waste lorries collect them in the main road. The number of houses in the Ridings is smaller and so are the number of residents and equivalent bins.  


In the proposed new estate, the likelihood is that the bins there would also be wheeled to the edge of the main road for ease of collection. As from next spring that would be at least 4 per household a min of 32 bins but potentially a greater number.



Parking Provisions and Occupancy

There are 13 proposed freestanding parking bays and potentially 8 garages. Very few people use their garages to park their car. These usually become junk rooms or, in the cases of units 5-8 at the rear, where the living room, dining room and kitchen are the same one room, will most likely be converted to a living room. The 5 bedroom units would be well out of the purchase power of most young families. They would be more attractive to speculative buyers with an eye to renting out the individual rooms; with a continuous turnover of residents. (“...building layout designed for ease of personalised internal changes.”)


Low Impact

Energy efficiency construction and heavy duty recycling with heat recovery system and photovoltaic panels are talked about in the ‘bluesky’ report but are specifically NOT part of the design; ONLY a suggestion. Many pages are dedicated to explain things they will not be fitting!  They talk about ‘air tightness’ but don’t mention the fact that people also like to open windows to remove stale air and let in fresh air as does opening an exterior door. It’s not all about minimal energy consumption. Extractors in kitchen and bathrooms (Building Regulations) will suck out air which will be replaced naturally from the outside. There are 3 bathrooms / WC and a kitchen extractor per household. Heat recovery systems suggested on these are very expensive and hence; rare. Any private post construction installation would be a lot more costly. So the low energy impact design is all smoke and mirrors again.



Us at 7A



Their internal driveway will have lighting, dusk to dawn. The existing shrubbery will be removed on E side leaving only our scattered neighbouring shrubs and trunks of small trees, as the barrier against the lighting. Their proposed replacement of small shrubs will help little against headlights of cars driving into near boundary parking places. The manoeuvring of cars or delivery vans in adjacent bays will spill exhaust fumes through the low density plantation, day and night, right into our garden, just the other side of where our pond has existed for 21 years.


With or without the illuminated drive, anyone could walk off the street through the shrubbery and with little effort, enter our garden. We would have a security problem! This would also apply to any uncontrolled dogs loose in the area. It’s a pity that our pond, 2.5m x 4.5m and easily discernible on Google Earth or through the hedge, was totally IGNORED (P.14   6.1.4) in the Ecology Assessment produced by Ethos.


Our pond is a hub of local and migratory wildlife. Many water insects and amphibians pass through or start life there. Many species of bird treat it as their main bathing area, sometimes queuing up to take turns. The bird, insect and amphibian list is long. If you’ve seen a species locally - it’s bathed or was born here. This includes a sparrow hawk, a kingfisher (not bathing, photos available) and 3 types of dragonfly. At the base of the nearby apple tree, at exhaust height, Great Tits have been rearing their young there for many years.


The increase in noise, straying animals and fumes will have a severe degrading effect on the pond and other wildlife.  


Also, unit 8 house will cause great shadowing to our greenhouse therefore making it redundant.



In the Arboricultural Report they make a pretence of protecting trees and highlight 5. Only one of them is inside the redevelopment boundary! The other 4, actually, all belong to the neighbours and they magnanimously agree to retain them. The main tree they have glossed over is a unique 5m Japanese Maple, in the front drive of No.9.  It has a small mention is in Appendix 1 Tree Tables, tree No.T2. (Déjà vu - Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, where planet earth is just about to be demolished?) Apparently it has a little bit of decay in the main stem. I’ve looked at it and it is very little. If that were reason enough to fell the tree then most of the trees in the surrounding area should also be felled. Left alone it will quite happily live another 50+ years.


There are many things about this report that I dislike, with its presumptions, contradictions and smoke to hide inconvenient things. And, despite their assurances, it will have an impact on neighbouring plants and trees!  P.4 3.2 seems to give a fair idea of their overall attitude. “....the new and/or replacement tree planting will offer an overall improvement to the local landscape.” Which part of Conservation Area have I misunderstood?


In the Heritage Collective report, please, please read P.15 part 5.1. Read it out loud! It is very funny and at the same time frightening and very insulting to those of us that like our houses.  “Minimal or nil impact,” crops up along with - new houses; “greater architectural merit,” and promotes the demolition of 9-11 because they are “ad hoc built houses.” This description applies to all the houses along this stretch of the Chessington Road but we prefer to call it; “characteristic”. We could also call it part of the heritage of the Village. Obviously my interpretation of heritage is different to theirs.


The allowance of this blot on our local landscape would severely negatively impact all in the vicinity, degrade our quality of life and encourage increased future erosion of the green areas that make this village so attractive and loved by us all.


A neighbour comments:-